By Cass Hooker, Director of Evangelization
In walking on the Mount of Olives in the Spring of the year, I knew that what I experienced was indeed very different from what Jesus experienced as he rode into Jerusalem on that humble colt. While on my pilgrim trek on this very same hill I found a steep paved road. It is incredibly narrow, even to the point of only allowing one vehicle to travel at a time. The incline calls pilgrims to awareness of each of their steps. Today the road harbors a hand railing embedded in the stone walls on either side of the road. Most days the area is well traveled by both cars and those hearty pilgrims on foot seeking Jesus.
This road winds along with Christian Churches dotting the way. One ends this time on the Mount as the Garden of Gethsemane becomes visible along with a busy vehicular intersection. Looking ahead the Dome of the Rock shines in the midday sun not too far ahead in the Old City of Jerusalem.
But what about Jesus, 2000 years ago? No paved road, no hand railings, no churches offering solace. The ground then must have been dry, the air perhaps quite warm and the sand, grit and stones pervasive (as indeed they still are today). Footing so perilous, sliding sandals bringing deliberate and slow steps. Jesus faces torture and death by crucifixion soon. Days of physical pain and mental anguish along with spiritual turmoil lay ahead. He embraced this willingly for us, for each of us. He traveled this slippery hillside toward Jerusalem so he could die and save.
So where is our footing unsure? Where are our doubts and fears? Do we fall on the path due to the stones and pebbles? Is there dirt and grit that lines our heart that keeps the love of Jesus from finding a home? When we step from the steep hillside are we met with the embrace of Jesus who is happy to find us seeking safer paths? He wants us to welcome him into Jerusalem and into our heart anew. In these next few days could we ask God to reveal where those rocks and pebbles are that keep us from being sure of the love of Jesus...
He is indeed sure… Are we?